Hillary Kissinger: The More Things Change….
…the more they stay the same. We typically skip reading potential presidential candidates’ books…they tend to be a bit light on substance and a bit heavy on self-promotion, but after reading Mark Weisbrot’s op-ed in Al-Jazeera America, we might need to pick up Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices”. Unfortunately, Clinton’s book won’t be a fun read. In her book, Clinton admits to throwing democratic ideals to the wind and, while Secretary of State, through deliberate inaction, she embraced a military coup that ousted yet another democratically-elected leader in Latin America.
President Zelaya was ousted on the pretense that he was scheming to rewrite the constitution in order to extend his stay in power. But, as Weisbrot and others have pointed out before, that clearly was not the case. The only schemers in this whole situation were opposition leaders and apparently Secretary of State Clinton. She and the Obama administration did not support the desires of neighboring Latin American countries or the UN to support returning Zelaya to office. She took very clear steps to ensure President Zalaya could not return to Honduras. Instead of investigating the overthrow of a democratically-elected president and returning him to power, Clinton met with her counterparts to talk about implementing quick “elections.” Clinton somehow got the notion that brushing the coup aside and trying to set up new “elections” would be the appropriate course of action. Apparently coup d’etats are on the same level as a parking ticket nowadays. We guess the silver lining in this story is that Zalaya got off a whole lot easier than Chilean President Allende did in the 70’s….getting carried away in pajamas at gunpoint surely is preferable to getting carried away in a body bag.
Now, like some cruel joke, Clinton is going to make another bid for the presidency under the guise of a member of the Democratic party? Also, is it ironic that she would take her review of a Kissinger book to expand her views on foreign policy. Kissinger, as we all remember, played politics with the Vietnam War in order to play puppet masterand played a role in the overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean President Allende. Yet again, looks like we’ve got another white American who wants to play puppeteer to all the brown and black people of the world.
Since the aftermath of the Honduran coup (which the US government, while maybe not a direct player in the execution of the coup, definitely seems like a #1 fan), US relations with several Latin American countries have gone downhill. In addition, conditions in Honduras have deteriorated, with the murder rate jumping 50% from 2008–2011, Honduran security forces engaging in blatant human rights abuses, and rampant corruption within the government. No wonder thousands of children are fleeing the violence and seeking refuge in the US.
Speaking of those children….Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself. Her response to the migration of children fleeing human rights abuses in their home countries in South and Central America? Turn around and go home. Maybe if she were not responsible for creating the awful situations these children are escaping, thanmaybe her response to the refugee situation would, at best, be troubling. But, the fact of the matter is that she played a role in the horrible situation in Honduras that resulted in a massive migration of children just trying to avoid death.
Weisbrot cuts Clinton a bit too much slack when it comes to assigning blame…while I do think the far right has influenced the masses to embrace ridiculous foreign policies, as far as this issue goes, the majority of the blame lies with Clinton’s unwavering desire to win the presidency, rather than implement fair and just policy. Clinton is incredibly hawkish…whether it is supporting the arming of groups in Syria (…that won’t snowball at all *cough* Vietnam *cough*), blind unquestioning support of Benjamin Netanyahu, or her total lack of support for Zelaya. If these hawkish tendencies were an attempt to secure and strengthen true representative democracies…maybe we could be a bit more sympathetic, but her foreign policy seems to be a mixture of hegemonic desires and vote-counting (and probably a bit of potential election cash thrown in). We’re definitely not ready for a president who puts ambition over lives. #ReadyForJustAboutAnybodyElse
Every election cycle we are repeatedly bombarded with meticulously crafted messages about why we should choose the Democrat over the Republican….but really, judging by the likely contenders for 2016, we don’t think any true progressive voter has a good choice. All we know is, we’re not ready for Hillary Clinton and here’s to hoping we won’t see her name on the ballot.